For every high priest taken from among men is ordained for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins:
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Divine Liturgy of St. Mark
Lord, have mercy on us: since we are full of fear and trembling, when about to stand at Thy holy altar, and to offer this dread and bloodless sacrifice for our own sins and for the errors of the people:
Every high priest. He speaks first of the office of priests in general, before he speaks of Christ's priesthood. A priest is chosen and preferred before other men, as qualified for the divine ministry, to offer up gifts, oblations, sacrifices, in order to obtain forgiveness for his own sins and those of the people, who, by the experience he has of his own infirmities, may compassionate others who offend through frailty or ignorance, every priest (excepting our Saviour Christ) being a sinner. Nor must he take upon himself rashly and inconsiderately, for temporal motives, this sacred ministry, formidable (says St. Gregory) even for the shoulders of Angels; he must consult God by prayer, follow the advice of his spiritual guides and pious parents; by these means to know whether he has a call from God to this ministry, as Aaron had. (Witham)
The priest and pastor should never forget that he is a man and a sinner; that he is honoured with this divine ministry, to offer sacrifice both for h...
) and if it be supposed that our Saviour only offered a bloody sacrifice, he would with more propiety have been called a priest according to the order of Aaron, and not of Melchisedech. See St. Augustine, lib. 16. de Civitat. Dei. chap. xxii.
The blessed Paul wishes to show in the next place that this covenant is far better than the old. This then he does by first laying down remote considerations. For inasmuch as there was nothing bodily or that made a show, no temple for instance, nor Holy of Holies, nor Priest with so great apparel, no legal observances, but all things higher and more perfect, and there was nothing of bodily things, but all was in things spiritual, and things spiritual did not attract the weak, as things bodily; he thoroughly sifts this whole matter.
And observe his wisdom: he makes his beginning from the priest first, and continually calls Him an High Priest, and from this first [point] shows the difference [of the two Dispensations]. On this account he first of all defines what a Priest is, and shows whether He has any things proper to a Priest, and whether there are any signs of priesthood. It was however an objection in his way that He [Christ] was not even well-born, nor was He of the sacerdotal ...